Without an umbrella, my wife and I were caught unprepared for a sudden shower as we left Pat’s Pizza on Sheffield not long ago. We hailed an empty cab that was approaching and quickly hopped inside.

“West Grace between Pine Grove and Lake Shore,” I said.

“Aw, that means I have to turn around,” replied our driver, offering his version of Bartleby the scrivener. “I’d prefer not to.”

“Excuse me?”

“Why didn’t you get in a cab on the other side of the street?”

I looked at my wife and shrugged my shoulders as we slowly proceeded the half block to Barry, where I expected our driver to make a left turn. When he continued to delay, I sarcastically proposed, “You want us to get out of the cab?”

“If you wouldn’t mind,” came the voice, now an octave higher, the tone more pleasant.

“Let’s get out,” declared my wife, shoving me out the door and slamming it behind her.

–Kevin Finnerty

Overheard leaving a recent performance of The Phantom of the Opera:

“How did this compare with the other performances?”

“It was as good as the London show, but not as good as the CD.”

“I thought it raised kitsch to a whole new level of meaning.”

“I thought so too! I thought it was wonderful!”

–Barak Rosenshine